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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I'm new to this forum, found it while looking for some info on Vulcan 750s, as I looked at a used one today that I'm contemplating buying. A couple of things have me concerned about the bike, though, and I was hoping you folks could help me out. Bike is a '94 vulcan 750 with ~10k miles.

The bike appears to have been stored outdoors for at least some of it's life. The exhaust is a bit rusty, but not through, and most of the bolt heads on the engine and elsewhere are rusty. Is this great cause for concern?

The rear shock felt a little mushy, even on the firmest adjustment setting. Is this normal?

The front shocks also felt a little soft. On each shock on the front fork there is a rubber seal where the upper part goes into the lower part. On both sides this rubber seal is damaged, the one side even slides up and down the upper part of the fork at will. These seals are seated in the top part of the enlarged portion of the lower fork. No fork oil appears to be leaking, but I assume this means the fork seals need replacing?

Anything else I should watch out for on this particular make/model/year?

Thanks a lot,
Seth
 

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sethb said:
Hey all,

I'm new to this forum, found it while looking for some info on Vulcan 750s, as I looked at a used one today that I'm contemplating buying. A couple of things have me concerned about the bike, though, and I was hoping you folks could help me out. Bike is a '94 vulcan 750 with ~10k miles.

The bike appears to have been stored outdoors for at least some of it's life. The exhaust is a bit rusty, but not through, and most of the bolt heads on the engine and elsewhere are rusty. Is this great cause for concern?
All Jap bikes rust pretty easy as far as the bolts go, not a big deal, you can clean/replace them as needed. As far as the bike sitting, how does it run? is the tank rusty inside? odds are if it doesn't run real good it probably has some crud in the carbs. Could be as simple as adding seafoam to the gas to clean them out or maybe they will need to be pulled and cleaned.

The rear shock felt a little mushy, even on the firmest adjustment setting. Is this normal?In my opinion the rears feel mushy unless you put a little air in them.

The front shocks also felt a little soft. On each shock on the front fork there is a rubber seal where the upper part goes into the lower part. On both sides this rubber seal is damaged, the one side even slides up and down the upper part of the fork at will. These seals are seated in the top part of the enlarged portion of the lower fork. No fork oil appears to be leaking, but I assume this means the fork seals need replacing? What you see are the dust seals the fork seals are inside but the will need replacing if enough dirt has gotten past the dust seals.

Anything else I should watch out for on this particular make/model/year?Drive splines have a habit of rusting if they have not been greased and the battery should be checked.Read the Vulcan Verses and that will give you alot of things to check for. These are reliable bikes if a reasonable effort is made with maintainance


Thanks a lot,
Seth
I would have it check out by a competant mechanic just to cover your butt.
 

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One other thing to check is to see if the bike has been dropped. There will be deep scratches on the mirrors or exhaust covers or even the center stand. Has the engine been taken apart for any reason? Who did the repair?
These are good questions to ask. My 93 had some issues develop about 1K after I bought it because I didn't do my homework. The bike had been dropped on both sides and I theorize that when it dropped on the left, it messed up the shift lever and the engine was torn down. In the process of reassembly, the rear cylinder cam guides were incorrectly installed which led to the chains slapping the aluminum parts of the cylinder wall. It seemed to run OK at first but developed the problem too late for me to return it. (Private sale, not a dealer). All is well now but the process was painful.
If taken care of properly, these are reliable bikes but like any high performance vehicle, they need a bit more TLC than a regular car.
 

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A '94 with only ten K miles will bound to have some rust in the tank. This will probably be your most common problem, as it would for any motorcycle. Everyone on here will tell you what to use to help your carbs fight the rusty junk, and that would be the alchemist's secret weapon, Seafoam. You can find it at most auto parts stores. Ask for it by name. (That just sounded like an ad). A lot of carb rebuilds could have been avoided by running Seafoam through first, it really is magic.

Other than that, the next issues, which probably are the biggest, are the spline lube, and the stator. The spline lube is an easy procedure that anybody with arms and hands can do, but can save you a grand (literally). The stator issue is really a charging system issue. Before you buy it, take the seat off (two bolts in the trunk) and check the battery at different rpms. At idle, it will probably be around 12 volts, but more importantly, its should be at least 13.5 to 14.5 volts at 5K rpms. If not, the bike will need either a new regulator, stator, battery or any combination of the three.

Once you get it, we can advise you as to what small modifications you can make in order for the next 90K+ miles to as close to maintenance free as is possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone for all the replies. I saw elsewhere that the rear shaft splines can be problematic if not properly maintained. Is it possible to inspect these without removing the rear wheel? I don't imagine the owner would appreciate me taking his bike half-way apart.
 

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No. You can look at the universal joint of the shaft by pushing the boot back that covers it. It's the rubber boot between the tranny and the shaft. You *might* be able to tell if there is any excess rust in there. Have a good flashlight handy. If you don't see any rust, that doesn't mean the splines are OK. But the system is fairly well sealed, so at 10K miles you are probably OK to get the bike if this is the only thing holding you back. Just lube 'em as soon as it's yours.
 

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Welcome to the site. If you've read enough on here, you should feel pretty comfortable about any maintenance issues you might run across as an owner. This site has been a huge money saver for me and many others, so use all of us here as a soundboard. Everyone here is ready to help.

If a bike has been outdoors for a while, another thing to be aware of is connectors getting corroded and causing some electrical issues. It's common on bikes stored outside. Just something to be aware of... Good luck!
 
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